Senator David Perdue Calls on Washington to Address Crises Immediately
We are facing a global security crisis of increasing magnitude and this is inextricably linked to our national debt crisis.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today condemned recent terrorist attacks by ISIS and called on Washington to address our global security crisis, which is underpinned by our debt crisis, immediately.
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“I rise today to speak about our persistent global security crisis, but I also want to connect how our national debt crisis affects that crisis.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families of these tragic events over the last three weeks. This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hosted the French Ambassador to the United States. In that meeting, we shared our thoughts and prayers with him and the people of France. More than that, we stand in solidarity with them, against these evil forces that manifested themselves on the streets of Paris this past week.
The horrific ISIS attacks in Paris killing more than 130 people and injuring more than 350 innocent people – men, women, and children – serve as a chilling reminder of the threat we continue to face from international terrorism every day.
Earlier this week, Russia confirmed it was indeed a terrorist bomb that took down a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Just last night, we saw two Air France planes – thank God, under a false alarm – grounded because of fear of some terrorist attack.
In addition, ISIS has now claimed responsibility for twin suicide attacks in Beirut just last week, killing 43 more people. This makes three international attacks in three short weeks.
ISIS continues to be a persistent threat to the West and to the security and stability in the Middle East. Unfortunately, as they have already said several times, these attacks only confirm what ISIS has in mind for the future.
ISIS has been very clear about their intention to bring their version of terrorism to our own backyards, here in America. Indeed, ISIS even threatened Paris-style attacks on our nation’s capital in a recent video this week.
Earlier this week, CIA Director John Brennan said he would not consider the Paris attacks ‘a one-off event.’
Director Brennan went on to say, ‘It’s clear to me that ISIL has an external agenda, and that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks. I would not anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline.’
In light of the latest attacks by ISIS – beyond Iraq and Syria – I could not disagree more with our President who says his policies are containing ISIS.
The President and his administration continue to underestimate this threat. They even called them a ‘JV team’ not too long ago.
Despite the fact that ISIS has demonstrated its ability to perpetrate large-scale attacks beyond the borders of its so-called ‘caliphate,’ President Obama refuses to change this failed strategy.
Beyond the fault of the President, however, fault lies here in Congress as well. Washington is entirely too often focused on the crisis of the day instead of getting at the true, underlying problems and solving them directly. It shouldn’t take a tragedy like this for Washington to pay attention.
Again, the latest terrorist attacks only underscore that we are facing a global security crisis of increasing magnitude and this is inextricably linked to our national debt crisis. As a matter of fact, the biggest threat to our global security is still our nation’s federal debt. This is as true today as it was when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2012, Admiral Mullen, said the same thing.
In the past six years, Washington has spent $21.5 trillion running the federal government. That’s so large, I have a hard time even grasping how significant that is, but what I can understand is this, of that $21.5 trillion that we’ve spent running the federal government, we’ve actually borrowed $8 trillion.
With over $100 trillion of future unfunded liabilities, on top of the $18 trillion we’ve already built up, this is about $1 million dollars per every household in America. Every family in America today shares in this responsibility of about $1 million per family. We are so far past the tipping point, we may be at a point of it being unmanageable.
If interest rates alone were at their 30-year average of five and a half percent, we would already be paying over $1 trillion in interest—that’s unmanageable. That’s twice what we spend on our defense investment. It’s twice what we spend on our discretionary, non-defense investment. It’s unmanageable, and we are well past that tipping point.
Yet, Washington’s own dysfunction and gridlock are keeping us from completing the budget process, as I speak today, and passing appropriations bills here in the Senate. I might even argue, we may have seen the last truly voted upon and approved appropriations bill in the Senate because of the abuses of the rules that we see both sides have played in recent years.
Only four times, shockingly, in the last forty years has the budget process, along with the appropriations process, worked the way it was written into law in 1974.
For example, this year we have tried to get onto the defense appropriations bill that would fund the defense so we can go defend Americans abroad and we can defend our interests here at home against threats like ISIS.
We are being blocked from even getting on that bill, which passed with a vast majority of votes in committee, to the floor for a vote. No less than three times have people on the other side of the aisle blocked it from going to the floor for debate, for the amendment process, and for a vote. And three times, the Democrats have voted against allowing us to get the defense appropriations bill to the floor, thus making it a political football.
It’s something I just really don’t understand, not being of the political process here. We have these recent attacks from ISIS, and yet we can’t even find consensus here in this body to fund our Defense Department.
William Few, the very first Senator from Georgia, in whose seat I serve today, would absolutely be appalled. He would remind us, in the United States Constitution, there are only six reasons why 13 colonies, of which Georgia was one, came together to form this miracle called the United States. One of those six reasons was to ‘provide for the common defense,’ and here we are, through dysfunction and partisan politics, not acting appropriately to fund the ability to provide for the common defense.
I hope we can learn from recent events and get serious about tackling this debt problem so we can use that resource to fund our strong foreign policy, and we need a strong foreign policy to fight these threats abroad.
But to have a strong foreign policy, we have to have a strong military. We proved that in the 1980s when we brought down the Soviet Union with the strength of our economy and the power of our ideas. But, we still can’t because of our own intransigence and this national debt.
To have a strong military, as we proved, we have to have a strong economy. And that’s in jeopardy because of this growing debt crisis.
To confront this global debt crisis, we have to get serious today. We have to break through, we have to get shoulder to shoulder and defend our country, which means we have to do the hard work here on the floor of the Senate and pass the funding so we can defend ourselves against these new threats.
Now is the time, Mr. President, to solve this debt crisis so we can lead as a country again, to deal with this global security crisis and provide for the safety of Americans, wherever they are in the world.”
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